Free Pilates class
in support of Aware
Jaconel Janssen of Pilates
People Cork is organising a free Pilates class on Saturday 25 January in
Yogazone in Carrigaline in order to raise funds for Aware. All monies raised by
the event will go directly towards the maintenance and development of Aware’s
January can be tough for most
of us. Christmas is over, the New Year has started, the days are dark, Spring
still some time away.
Exercise and spending time
outdoors can help if you are feeling a little low. Simple things such as going
for a short walk each day or simply sitting in the park can make a difference,
as well as having a balanced diet and getting enough rest. A movement, stretch
and relaxation class can bring great benefits too.
There is a difference between
depression with a little ‘d’ – which we all get – and depression with a big
‘D’. Depression with a little ‘d’ is a natural response to having a bad day or
hearing sad news. Depression with a big ‘D’ is when your whole energy and
concentration is down and you are struggling to focus. It is a mental health
condition which affects a person’s thinking, energy, feelings and behaviour.
It’s not just having a bad day. If you have symptoms of depression you may not
want to talk about it. However, talking about how you feel to your GP or family
is a positive first step in learning how to manage Depression.
Depression is a very common
condition which affects more than 450,000 people in Ireland (one in ten) at any
one time. Any of us, irrespective of age, gender or background, can be affected
at some point in our life
Aware provides information on
depression for many people: these include individuals who are experiencing
depression or related mood disorders; those who are concerned for a family
member or friend; people who are seeking to learn more about the condition, and
also those who may be wondering if depression could be a factor for them.
The free class is suitable for
all. The session will start with a short relaxation, allowing the body to let
go of tension. Then the focus will be on building core strength as well as
flexibility, balance and co-ordination. The body is gently realigned and
reshaped, the muscles rebalanced, so that the body can move more freely. After
an hour participants can expect to feel taller, stronger and more relaxed.
Free Pilates on Saturday 25 January in Yogazone Carrigaline 10.30-11.30am.
Booking essential, contact 085 1613 505.
Keep your calm this Christmas
As the lights are switched on, and Christmas tunes are all around us,
we are getting ready for this long awaited time. Time of celebration, time
spent with family and time of rest. But for most of us, it can also be a time
of stress, tension and anxiety. How can we keep our calm this Christmas?
Not all stress is
bad, it can motivate and help maintain focus and alertness. On the down side,
stress may result in feeling overwhelmed or out of balance and can have
numerous disruptive effects on the body and the mind. If you are seriously
concerned about how stress is having a negative impact on your life, it is
important to talk to your doctor. Healthy eating, getting enough sleep,
breathing exercises, getting enough exercise including a mind-body exercise
such as Pilates, can all be part of a stress management routine. If you can do
with a little calm and clarity in your run-up to Christmas, here are a few
ideas to help you along the way.
We often respond
positively to breathing and muscle relaxation exercises. Many people are
unaware that their breathing patterns are disrupted under stress, by either
holding their breath, or breathing quickly and shallowly from the upper chest
- Tip: Put one hand on your abdomen and
the other hand on your upper chest. If you are taking a proper, full
breath, the hand on your abdomen should move out when inhaling. While
exhaling, the hand on your chest should stay relatively still. Try
concentrating on your breathing several times a day, thus introducing
small relaxing breaks into your life.
relaxation, a technique developed in the 1920’s, involves tensing and relaxing
of key muscle groups. Since muscle tension accompanies anxiety, learning to
relax the muscle tension may reduce anxiety.
- Tip: Sit or lie in a comfortable
position. With your eyes closed, tense the muscles in your legs for 10 seconds,
then release the tension for 20 seconds, noticing the difference between
tense and relaxed muscles. Don’t forget to breathe. Try this with other
muscle groups, such as in the abdomen, arms and face. The technique
becomes more effective with practice, so try and find time to regularly
Stretching has a
positive effect on our physical and mental health. It promotes mind-body
awareness, improves circulation and decreases muscle tension. Take pets as a
great example, they will not get moving without a big stretch first! Take time
out to stretch your muscles when you feel the tension rising. Breathing fully and from the abdomen while stretching,
will help you maximize each stretch.
- Tip: Stand with your weight evenly
balanced over both feet, knees soft. Interlace your fingers above your
head and with your palms facing upwards, push your arms slightly back and
up. Feel the stretch in your arms, shoulders and upper back. Hold for 15
seconds, not holding your breath.
It serves us well to learn how to
effectively manage stress, as doing so greatly improves our overall wellness.
Try and keep things simple. Christmas will be just as enjoyable without
everything being perfect. Try to accept that you can’t control it all. Ask
others for help. Make time for activities and people you enjoy. Make choices
that reduce your stress and support your well-being.
Relaxation, stretching, mindful movement workshop on
December 1-2.30pm in Yogazone Carrigaline, €15.
Info: pilatespeoplecork.com or
contact Jaconel 085 1613 505.